Thank you for another great season at our CSA! It has been a fun year with lots of interesting weather patterns which caused some crops to struggle and others to grow in plenty.
As first year Apprentices and Farm Hands, we truly thank all of you for your commitment to this farm and for all of the hard work each of you puts in to make it successful. Having a community that supports local agriculture and a healthy organic way of life is truly something to be thankful for. We look forward to seeing you all again next year!
As we do at the end of each season, there will be a survey coming out soon – please look for that in your inbox and please take time to share your thoughts with us. We use this information as we balance the goals of the farm, Moose Hill, and Mass Audubon in our planning for next year, and this is your chance to help us in that planning.
We look forward to next season and are aiming to have the CSA Summer of 2019 on sale in early November (shares make an excellent holiday gift…hint, hint..).
As you are receiving an abundance of some certain crops here these last few days of distribution, we wanted to offer up some storage tips to make the food last and some recipes.
Butternut Squash Soup:
Cut squash into 1-inch chunks. In large pot melt butter. Add onion and cook until translucent, about 8 minutes. Add squash and stock. Bring to a simmer and cook until squash is tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove squash chunks with slotted spoon and place in a blender and puree. Return blended squash to pot. Stir and season with nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Serve.
Potatoes:Should be stored in a dark, well ventilated, dry area away from other fruits and vegetables and at a cool room temperature. Potatoes emit ethylene gas which can cause other fruits and veggies such as onions to spoil faster so place them in their own drawer, cabinet, etc.
Popcorn: Air: Hang the corn in a dark and cool location until they are dried. Could be over a month. You also can spread them on a flat surface if you do not have room to hang them.
For the those of you who want to try some different methods for drying, cooking, etc., I found a good video here(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AS-DRROMj3M) of someone who tried some experimenting with it and showed his results. He tried a few methods of drying including on and off the cob, in the oven, and using a dehydrator.
Microwave: Very simple and easy..Simply microwave 1/4 cup of kernels in a small brown lunch paper bag. Make sure the bag is closed and folded over 3 or 4 times and firmly crease the seam so that it stays closed. No need to add any oil to the kernels as this won’t make much difference. If you wish to add more kernels, use a larger paper shopping bag.
Microwave for 2 – 4 minutes. Listen closely — when the time between pops slows to about 2 seconds, your popcorn is ready. Depending on your microwave, popping can finish in as little as 2 minutes or take as long as 4 minutes. Do not wait for all the kernels to pop; your popcorn will burn. It’s normal for there to be un-popped kernels in the bag.
Add some melted butter or oil and sprinkle with salt when finished cooking.
Yields: 2 servings Cook time: 10 minutes
3 Tbsp coconut, peanut, or canola oil (high smoke point oil)
1/3 cup of popcorn kernels
1 3-quart covered saucepan
1 Tbsp or more (to taste) of butter (optional)
Salt to taste
1. Heat the oil in a 3-quart thick-bottomed saucepan on medium high heat. If you are using coconut oil, allow all of the solid oil to melt.
2. Put 3 or 4 popcorn kernels into the oil.
3 When the kernels pop, add the rest of the 1/3 cup of popcorn kernels in an even layer. Cover, remove from heat and count 30 seconds.
This method first heats the oil to the right temperature, then waiting 30 seconds brings all of the other kernels to a near-popping temperature so that when they are put back on the heat, they all pop at about the same time.
4 Return the pan to the heat. The popcorn should begin popping soon, and all at once. Once the popping starts in earnest, gently shake the pan by moving it back and forth over the burner.
Try to keep the lid slightly ajar to let the steam from the popcorn release (the popcorn will be drier and crisper).
Once the popping slows to several seconds between pops, remove the pan from the heat, remove the lid, and dump the popcorn immediately into a wide bowl.
With this technique, nearly all of the kernels pop, and nothing burns.
5 If you are adding butter, you can easily melt it by placing the butter in the now empty, but hot pan. Note that if you let the butter get just a little bit brown, it will add an even more intense, buttery flavor to the butter and to your popcorn. (Here’s more info on how to brown butter.) Just drizzle the melted butter over the popcorn and toss to distribute.
Did it seem like the tomatoes were here and gone before you knew it? Unfortunately our tomato season was cut a little short because of a bacterial spot that caused them to get sick and die much quicker than we wanted.
On the bright side of things, we were lucky enough to get an extra planting of summer squash and zucchini that has lasted longer than usual.
However, spinach was planted but it failed to germinate so we will not see that this fall. Our most recent planting of corn struggled as well as August was a particularly dry month (hard to believe with our rainy September).
But, as the season begins to wind down for us, we have an abundance of sweet potatoes coming your way in addition to our most beloved winter squash varieties, AND a final planting of beans.
We will have pick your own herbs and flowers and cherry tomatoes. The cherry tomatoes will be slim pickings, but they are still out there for the determined picker!
As the season is winding down, be sure to complete your required work hours. you can sign up by following this link to the sign-up genius. If you are interested in buying out of your hours, send an email to email@example.com letting us know and we can give you more details. Currently it looks as though we will be able to extend our season into the first week of October.