In this week’s share:
- Pie pumpkin
- Butternut squash
- Napa cabbage
- Collard greens & vitamin green
- Bell peppers
- Basil, cilantro, dill & parsley
- Bittersweet tears for the last share of the season…
My Farm Heroes
As another season draws to a close, I want to give some well-deserved shout outs to the behind-the-scenes helpers who truly make all of this possible, or at least a whole lot easier.
- Mom mom, Arlene – She grew up in Brooklyn, raised her kids in the suburbs, sent them off to college, and never dreamed that one of them would end up digging around in the dirt for a living. But my mom is the most supportive farm helper a wayward son could ever ask for. She’s out there every Wednesday, bright and early, cutting herbs, picking tomatoes, and making sure we get every last edible green bean in the field. I know it’s hard on her back, but she doesn’t complain. Even better, she brings lunch — turkey and cheese sandwiches in little plastic baggies — as if she was packing my lunch for the 3rd grade. I still love it. Add this to all of the babysitting and help she offers with our kids, and you get an idea of how lucky I am. Thank you, mom!
- Leslie – If you pick up your share in Washington, then you’re lucky to have already met Leslie, our steadfast and loyal farm helper and resident mathematician. Bless my mom, but between the two of us we couldn’t divide by 27 (or even count to 27 on some days) if our lives depended on it. Leslie makes sure that we always have enough bags and enough veggies to go in them. She also weeds like a pro, transplants with the best of them, and graciously transports the Washington shares to her house every week. She says coming out to the farm clears her head. Whatever it is, I’m so thankful that she keeps coming back. Thanks again, Leslie!
- Lauryn – Here’s one of those blessings that defies logical explanation. Lauryn is not a CSA member. In fact, she has her own large and prolific garden back home. But like Leslie, she comes out to farm every Wednesday, claiming that spending a few hours at the farm each week is therapeutic. I refuse to refuse free help. I try to pay her back with vegetables, but she usually gives them to a housebound friend or the women’s shelter. Personally, I think she mostly comes for the “mom” sandwiches ;). Thank you, Lauryn!
- Margie & Joe – These are the intrepid owners of Manchester-Farms and the generous folks who first gave Mandy and I the opportunity to grow vegetables on their incredibly beautiful property. I don’t know what you saw in us, but thank you again for your continual support and friendship, and for letting us share a piece of what you’ve created out there in Avella. We love you guys!
The name says it all. These little beauties are packed with natural sugars and perfect for making roasted pumpkin puree. Here’s how:
- Preheat oven to 375F and cover a baking sheet with parchment paper
- Remove the stem and cut the pumpkin in half from top to bottom. Remove seeds and scrape out stringy goo. Save seeds for roasting, of course!
- Rub a little olive oil on the cut halves of the pumpkin and sprinkle with a little salt.
- Place pumpkin cut-side down on the parchment paper and bake for 45 to 1 hour, or until a fork breaks easily through the skin and the flesh is nice and soft
- Turn the pumpkins cut-side up and let them cool for 20 minutes. Then scoop out the flesh with a large spoon into a food processor and process until completely smooth.
- Use the pureed pumpkin as a base for desserts like pumpkin pie and pumpkin cheesecake, or savory dishes like pumpkin ravioli or that crazy pumpkin soup served in an actual pumpkin thing.
Beef Up for the Winter
Manchester-Farms just announced that they have more grass-fed organic beef for sale. We always have some in the freezer and it’s a real treat in the winter. A half-steer is between 80 and 90 lbs of frozen beef, divided into individually packaged cuts and 1lb ground beef packages. The price is $7/lb. We usually split a share with a friend or my parents. If you want to make an order or have any questions about the beef, contact Joe Pagliarulo directly at 203-209-6386.
See You in 2014…
Thank you so much for being part of our 2013 CSA. If you were new this year, we really hope you enjoyed the produce and the experience of cooking and eating seasonal local vegetables. If you still want to come out to the farm, there’s lots of cleanup left to do and we’ll be planting garlic at the end of October. Please keep in touch. I’ll be sending out a survey in a few weeks to ask about your favorite and not-so-favorite items so we can start planning for next year!