In your box:
- Napa cabbage (full shares)
- Salad mix
- Winter Squash, “Acorn”
- Winter Squash, “Delicata”
I’ve always thought I should have a sign up on the farm that says “It’s Been ___ Days Since Farmer Red Complained About the Weather.” This year, I don’t think I’ve ever gone more than a day or two without belly-aching about the ridiculously dry summer we’ve had.
Last week we were officially designated as being in a region of “Extreme Drought.” Since we returned from our vacation in mid-August, we’ve received a total of ⅓” of rain. Over those eight weeks, our average would be closer to 6 inches! Coming at the end of a summer in which it barely rained in June or July, this was especially devastating.
Overall, the farm season has run fairly smoothly despite the drought, and I’ve had average harvests every week of the season. But as we near the end of the season, I’m taking stock of everything we’ve lost to the drought: Potatoes that never reached marketable size, Brussels sprouts that never put out sprouts, total loss of leeks and partial loss of carrots and beets.
I can live with that in the face of such difficult weather (except for the Brussels sprouts–my favorite!), but as a farmer this drought is especially draining. With so little rain, the success or failure of the thousands of plants we grow on the farm is entirely up to me. Without a regular rotation of irrigation and special attention to newly transplanted crops, nothing would have survived this year. That’s a lot of pressure!
As we wrap up the growing season, we especially need rain to refill the ground water and keep our well satisfied in time for next year.
Thus ends my final weather complaint of 2022. And hey, the leaves have been especially beautiful this fall!
This week’s box
This week brings two winter squash to our boxes. The black squash with a spot of orange are Acorn squashes (similar to the Fordhook Acorns we had last week, but with a more conventional appearance). The colorful yellow squash are Delicata–my second favorite squash after butternut. Delicatas are unique in that their skin is thin and tasty enough to eat, unlike other squash that need to be scooped out of their skins.
To cook any squash, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Slice the squash in half (lengthwise) and scoop out the seeds. Place the squash flesh-side down in a casserole dish and add an inch of water into the dish. Bake for 45-60 minutes, depending on the size of the squash.
The turnips this week are the customary storage variety that lacks the sweetness of the white turnips we had in the spring, but with a more robust flavor. You don’t need to peel them, but to remove any dirt it might be helpful.
Savoy Cabbage and Turnips
- 2 Tbs. unsalted butter
- 1 turnip, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch cubes
- 1 carrot, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch cubes
- 1 head savoy cabbage, about 2 lb., quartered, cored and sliced crosswise into strips 1/4 inch wide
- 3/4 cup low-sodium chicken stock
- Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 1 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, melt the butter.
- Add the turnip and carrot and sauté until lightly browned, about 7 minutes.
- Add the cabbage and sauté until wilted, about 2 minutes.
- Stir in the stock, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, uncovered, until the cabbage is tender and most of the cooking liquid has evaporated, about 10 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper and stir in the parsley. Serve immediately. Serves 6.
Next week, we are expecting celery, onions, garlic, salad mix, butternut squash, beets, carrots and broccoli.