In your box:

–Brussels sprouts

–Carrots

–Celeriac

–Garlic

–Kale

–Leek

–Napa cabbage

–Turnips

Whenever it comes time for the final delivery of the season, I always try to convince myself that I can stretch out the growing year for just one more week. Then it snows. And rains all weekend. And I look around the muddy fields and decide that a box full of kale and turnip greens probably isn’t a box that most people would want. So this is indeed your final box of our 2019 CSA season. Thanks so much for your support!

Overall, I’m very pleased with the quantity of the harvest this year. We overcame a late start to planting, endured a soaking wet fall,and enjoyed a lot of nice temperatures and sun all through the middle of the growing year. It was a great year for peppers, carrots, onions, and lettuce. Tomatoes, garlic and winter squash were modest but disappointing just because people like them so much. Rutabagas and cabbage elected to not participate, but thankfully the boxes were pretty full throughout the year even without them.

Thanks also to our amazing volunteers! We’ve had weekly help from my folks, Steve and Arlene Kirkman of Chaska, to wash veggies on Tuesdays. Nina’s mom, Julie Healy of Bloomington, has been out every Thursday to help in the packing shed. Nina’s dad, Will Healy, is retiring this winter and will probably start volunteering seven days a week next summer (this is mostly a test to see if he reads these newsletters)

This year we fed 112 families, which is the largest we’ve ever been as a farm. This was made up by 19 full shares and 93 half shares. Each family contributed to our success this year and the viability of our local food economy. You might not have liked everything that came your way and some of the produce might be dying a slow death in the back of your fridge, but your support carried us through with our farm dreams for another year. Thanks so much! Farming continues to be one of the driving passions of my life, even if I do complain too much about the weather and mosquitoes. It’s a great privilege to provide you with weekly produce and to live in harmony with the seasons and the elements here at Fox and Fawn Farm. We hope you’ve enjoyed the year!

The lone new crop this week is the Celeriac, which is indeed a close relative of its cousin celery. Celeriac’s tops are edible and used just like celery, while the root bulb itself is the highlight of the vegetable. To use it, just peel the outside skin and any roots. The white flesh can be chopped fine or grated and added to any stew for a great, rich root taste. The tops stay fresh for just a week or so, but the root stores well in the fridge for up to a couple months.

Even though there won’t be any more produce coming your way, we can still use your empty CSA boxes. We reuse any that are still in good shape and we’re able to recycle the rest. Please return any stragglers to your delivery site by next week Tuesday, when I’ll make the rounds one last time to pick up any leftovers. Thanks!

I’m frequently asked what I do with my off-season. It’s actually much shorter than it might seem. I keep working full weeks through Thanksgiving as I apply compost to the field, put away all of my farm equipment, store root veggies in our cellar, and finish up the yard projects I’ve put off all summer. For December and January I get some enjoyable time off, but by February I’m busy planning out the next farm season and getting ready to plant seeds in the greenhouse at the end of the month.

This year Nathan is in second grade while Adam attends preschool three mornings a week. Next year he’ll be in kindergarten all day, making this my last winter I’ll spend my full days attending to my boys’ every wish and desire. After seven years of keeping the peace in a house full of boys, I’m realizing how different it will be next winter when I don’t have Legos to step on and pillow fights to break up all day during the winter. Everyone always tells you how quickly the years pass when you’re a parent. I’m not sure that’s true. Mostly it’s a lot of tedious days trying to fill the hours and fend off cabin fever. It goes slow, but then next year they’ll both be in school all day and that phase of my life will instantly be over. So maybe what they say is true—the days don’t pass quickly as a parent, but the years somehow do. And I’ll enjoy my final winter with Adam around every day. Today I was explaining what it means to “think outside the box.” A couple hours later he was spinning around the kitchen and I asked him what he was up to. “Dancing outside the box, daddy.” That sounds like a good way to pass the winter.

Thanks again for your support this year! I’ll be sending out a survey within the next month to get your thoughts on this season and to go over some ideas for the future. Have a great winter!

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