How To Use This Newsletter
Our newsletters are dense and long, and I know many of us can’t take the time to read that much. Don’t worry! They are designed for people like me, who need the important information fast, and MAYBE, maybe, if I have time to read more, I will come back to it later. The most important information is always at the top, with all the bonus stuff if you keep reading. The format is generally a list of what is available each week, followed by any important new information, a reminder of some of the basic details of how to get your share, farm news, and a recipe. You can always find the link to the form to get your share delivered to Ludlow in the section on CSA details. The top of the newsletter has a link for common questions you may have, but feel free to email any questions if they aren’t answered there.
We love our CSA, we are grateful for your support, and it is our goal that you are happy and well fed with your share. Please always let us know if you have feedback: we love making improvements based on your experience, especially if we make a quality mistake. The benefit for you of choosing to get your veggies locally, is that if something isn’t up to our standard, we want to replace it.
How The Fall Share Is Different From The Summer Share
The biggest difference is that the on farm pickup option is only available on Fridays, not Thursdays as well. The other difference is that if you want to pick up your share in Ludlow, you need to fill our a form each week to choose your items. Also, the Rutland Farmers’ Market is indoors for the season now at 251 West Street.
This week you can choose from red potatoes, yellow potatoes, fingerling potatoes, red beets, golden beets, baby arugula, baby lettuce, baby bok choi, spinach, pea shoots, microgreens, garlic, husk cherries, red and green cabbage, napa cabbage, carrots, green curly kale, red and yellow onions, spaghetti squash, butternut squash, acorn squash, sweet peppers, jalapenos, brussels sprouts, and leeks!
CSA Details (Including how to pickup in Ludlow)
You can pick up your summer share at the farm on Fridays from 8 am to 7 pm, from the indoor winter Rutland Farmers’ Market on Saturdays from 10 am to 2pm, (at 251 West Street), and Tygart Mountain Sports in Ludlow between 2pm and 5pm by filling out this form by 8am on Friday: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSe3w7FWNKDd_KAj5-QLleXE_LjBNSn2GzUEW26VfYNdajZwhQ/viewform?c=0&w=1 If you come after 5pm your bag will be right outside the door to the store.
Half of your remaining balance is due. If you need a different payment plan and haven’t set one up yet, let me know. (That’s not a problem.)
If you take the summer off to tend to your own garden, welcome back! And if you have been with us all season, you know how things have been going!
This week we are tackling the big bulk carrot harvest. We use a big under cutter bar behind the back of the tractor that sinks down in the ground below the roots to loosen the soil so they are easier to collect then pulling them out by the greens. We attach extra weight to the bar so it drops deep enough in the soil. It was certainly a perk to be pregnant during carrot harvest two years ago, because an 8-9 month pregnant farmer was all the extra weight we needed that year. Alas, now my kids are on the outside of my body, and we have to resort to less excited forms of weighing our tractor implements down.
We finished planting the garlic last week, and now we are turning our attention to harvesting the remaining storage crops for the season. Besides carrots that will include cabbage and leeks. We are appreciating how relatively on schedule we feel with our work this fall.
We just applied for a grant to cost share the construction of a third high tunnel that we would put up next year. We applied for it last year before learning we were going to welcome a second kid on the farm, so we ended up making the tough decision to turn down the grant last year. It felt too difficult to welcome a summer baby and build a whole new tunnel. We are eager to put up a third tunnel because we want to balance the demands of winter greens and early heat loving crops in the summer. If you have been with us for awhile, you know that we work hard to have salad greens every week of the year. Now that we added a pellet boiler to heat the soil in one of our tunnels, we will be removing winter greens much earlier from that tunnel to transplant early tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplant, and basil. That reality means we will have less greens available in the April and May time unless we put up another tunnel to grow a larger amount of winter greens. Cross your fingers the grant will come through so we won’t have to choose between growing early heat loving crops for the summer share or enough winter greens for the spring share. Managing our tunnel space is always a balance, and it' feels like it’s time to make that expansion so that balance is less difficult.
We often feel this is the toughest time of year to farm. We are still harvesting our weekly greens from outdoors, and the weather can be wet and cold, making for really challenging harvesting conditions. Even though it gets colder in the winter, at that point we are inside the tunnels, so even on the coldest days, we are dry, and that makes a world of difference. At the same time, we try to extend the outdoor season as long as we can to prioritize harvesting what we grow in the tunnel when everything in the field is finally fully covered by snow. So I am certainly not rushing snow, but it’s always interesting to be reminded how much more difficult fall farming can be than winter farming.
Have a great week everyone, and stay warm!
-ESF Team: Kara, Ryan, Sam, Peter, Morgan, and Taylor
I shamelessly post a recipe like this at least once a year, because they are awesome!
3 cups shredded beets (about 3-4 medium beets)
1 small to medium onion, shredded
4 TBSP flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp coriander
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp pepper
Put shredded beets in a colander allowing any moisture to drip out as you prep the rest of the ingredients. In a large bowl mix all the remaining ingredients. Stir in the air dried beets. Heat a high heat cooking oil in a skillet. Mae sure the oil covers the bottom well. Put pancake shaped amounts of the mixture in the heated oil, and let lightly brown on one side and then flip them. When both sides have gotten crispy, remove from the skillet, lay on a baking sheet with a paper towel, and continue cooking the entire mixture. When you are done with the mixture, remove the paper towel from underneath the latkes, and warm them at 350 for about 10 minutes. Enjoy!