By this time in the season the time spent buried in the seed catalog is a distant memory. That is a wintertime activity and it never fails to fill us with inspiration and optimism for the coming spring. It allows us to think through the season; methodically mapping out the crops, based on space and length of time in the ground, and what each week we might be able to offer up to our CSA members. The seed catalogs usually have descriptions that make our mouth water, and it is helpful at harvest time, to have the catalogs on hand to remind us why we decided to grow what...
We brought in the winter squash today, and everyone probably has a kink in their back from lugging ten pounders into the barn, one after another. The biggest one, "Candy Roaster" was a new variety for us this year. The catalog makes no reference to size, but instead lured us in with "superb eating quality worthy of its name and may even make the best baked squash in the world." The Fedco Seed catalog added this astonishing tidbit: so sweet, it "could be enjoyed at immature muskmelon-size as a sweet treat." So we bought it, and boy they turned out BIG. And Beautiful!
Another one (which we have done in the past) is Jarradale. It is a pumpkin actually, just slate green/gray instead of orange. They make an amazing pie, and we had one last year that lasted into May! It is also gorgeous.
In the depths of winter the prospect of a long hot summer capable of growing a huge fruit like one of these squashed seems nearly magical. And all from a little packet of seed!
Certainly we never expected this many spaghetti squash! If anyone needs more of it, just ask! Otherwise our sheep, cows, and pigs have dibs!
For ALL of our winter squashes: Don't forget to save the seeds to roast in a toaster oven or under the broiler. With a little salt or soy sauce, they are the best thing to munch on while that pie is baking.
The leeks are small ones that will probably not get big before the end of the season, so we are giving you a bunch that you can use in a sautee, giving your dishes that "light sweet buttery flavor that top chefs require" (maybe a copy of the seed catalog should be in every CSA member's possession!)
I wonder if the seed catalog as a genre represents the quintessence of advertising. How else would we know what to expect from such a humble thing as a seed, when we have to wait all summer long to see this:
Please take a moment this Thursday to greet the full moon which also happens to fall on the Fall Equinox. We hear the Eastern Prom is the place to be to watch it rise.
Also, who can forget the Common Ground Fair this weekend! We look forward to bumping into you there-- we can't seem to make it from the parking lot to the gate without running into a dozen at least of our Greater Portland friends!
And, on October 23 at 1 pm you, along with 7 other students can come to the farm and learn how to slaughter -- eh hem "process" your own Thanksgiving turkey. Get this: for $150 bucks, you choose your own turkey, learn to kill it, pluck it, and gut it, along with many of the finer points of the trade so that you can raise one next year in your front lawn! You'll also walk away with a sack of potatoes, onions, squash, and beets, AND an amazing conversation piece for your Thanksgiving dinner. We're really excited about this because a) we enjoy hands-on teaching with our hands-in a bird; and b) Maine's new regualtions restricting on-farm sales of poultry processing forbids us from selling you a turkey that we kill for you. There is no reason you can't do it yourself though! Anyway we have only five more spots so, sign-up, or sign-up someone you love: is your hubby too lazy on Thanksgiving while you are busting ass in the kitchen all morning!? Well, we take care of that! Send Stacy (firstname.lastname@example.org) a message to register.
Blessings on the Meal
(cover crops coming up)