November marks a major closure for the CSA: finishing off the last of the crops for the year; cleaning out the dead and dying crops, and starting to do planning for the next season. That may sound a bit premature – but there are seeds getting planted this week for 2022 – some for the “Winter” mini season, but some, like Garlic, for the Green and early Main season. The CSA dance goes like this: every crop has three numbers: germination time, time to first pick, sustain time. For example, the Broccoli and Cauliflower doing so very well for Extended season had to be planted in July and protected from the heat and dry. Radishes (which suffer from root maggots) take about 4 weeks from seed start to small product.
Now this is where it gets challenging: how many members will be in the CSA in Green Season of 2022?… Yeah, well, the short answer is that you guess based on prior years and hope. Then you throw in the notorious “Snow in February and March, Freeze until mid April” curve balls and well… go for it. Farming is legal gambling. The Extended Season which is going on at present is working out great. The star crops as mentioned above are the broccoli and cauliflower – but the Sweet Potatoes and Winter Squash are doing their part. There is good lettuce, some spinach and some Kale, and the apples are outstanding. There are two varieties which are favorites – the ‘last man standing tree’ which is starting to go out this week is a great low acid very crisp and sweet treat. The green coloration around the core is a sign of sugar formation – a sure marker of “this is a sweet apple.”
The project the last two days has been making applesauce, a staple here for the need for fruit in the winter and spring. That made from these apples was so sweet no sugar was added at all.
The next project will be some pie… 6-7 apples and you are good to go! There will also be some squash cooked and frozen, a great, filling, and low cal starch. The farm dog was put on a diet of squash, which was easy to do this time of year and then the squash ran out. Poor Riley – the vet told us there was a 75 pound dog trapped inside a 105 pound body. Squash took off about 20 pounds over that winter.
There are two weeks left to the extended season after this week – so the message is as follows: You will get a normal delivery the last week. The following week (Thanksgiving) there will be a pick-up and drop off of our thank you for being in the CSA. This message will not self destruct, it will be repeated for the rest of the season.
And yes, there still will be an monthly or end of season general update to the ‘interested’ CSA email list asking for input. If you want to be included, message or comment to this post!
So: in-the-box week 4 Extended Season:
|Greens||Nice Lettuces. Some Spinach. White and/or Red Chard; Kale – not much of it, ask. Asian Mustard (ask) – a floret of Broccoli, maybe a head of Cauliflower. Cabbage is working hard to provide; TBD if there will be any and if any it will be small. Ask.|
|Crunchies||Carrots. Yep, Carrots. That’s the crunchy for the rest of the season, unless you count Broccoli as a crunch.|
|Herbs||Garlic, Parsley, Arugula, Green Onions, Chives (ask), Fennel – still have four or five good bulbs.|
|Other|| Cherry Tomatoes, maybe. Slicer tomatoes, maybe.
4-6 apples or more. From the sweet tree, the last tree of the season.
Pumpkin or Green skin winter squash.
somewhat larger sweet potatoes.
- Cabbage – we will see – there may be more heads develop, Depends On Weather. Some of these will be over-wintered for Spring.