Week 15 CSA!

As we start to reach the end of the summer season, I find myself in a bittersweet mindset. The bulk of the hard work is done and we are starting to think about winter work yet I find myself with a little more time to do other things. The bittersweet comes from finally having some free time but knowing what is around the corner - winter. Thats not to say there isn’t fun to be had in winter, it is just different and I find myself contemplating how we spend our time during the “comfortable” months. What have we given up in order to take this journey into agriculture? Weekends? Free time? Reading a book on a hammock? Biking, traveling, seeing friends and family? I’ve written about this before but it is close to the surface as I go through my day to day. I wonder if I miss those former aspects before of our life together on this land - on a superficial level I know that I do and the freedom of picking up and taking off is something I am very familiar with yet I am no longer able to do. But then I think about the reward for what we do here and the level of fulfillment runs deeper than anything I have previously experienced - in all its challenges. I imagine those of you with young children or with grown kids looking back on raising them or those of you with challenging careers that you have chosen in sacrifice of something else can relate to this experience. I am finding as I get older that the most challenging, uncomfortable experiences are often the most rewarding and developmental - that pushing our potential and experiencing our absolute limits provides the best growth for us as people. What I love about this work is the growth - the annual growth of the food we eat, the perennial growth of the grower as I learn about how I interact with nature, my customers, my partner, myself, the growth of the land we are developing, and the maturation of myself in the world and in my career - it is all encompassing and truly inspiring work and I love it.

But now it is fall and I am tired. I love fall. I love the weather, the cool mornings and warm, not hot, days, the slow pace, the ease of everything. I love the mindset shift and beginning to be introspective about the season, the thoughts of the future and considering where to make Improvements. I love starting to put things to bed and this year, planning and planting for winter. Next week we will have our annual greenhouse build with my father and brother-in-law. It may be the last annual build here which is comforting to know that we will free up that time for next fall. And of course we are rounding out the CSA season next Tuesday. We hit our target 10% increase on the “return” of your investment this week so everything after is bonus. It seems to me that that is how this season is shaping up, lots of bonuses and I’m ok with that.

On to the share!

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  • Carrots - so many here. I hope you are still enjoying them - the nice thing about carrots is that you can put them deep in the fridge in a bag, forget about them, and then in a month or two or five, you can remember them and be psyched that you found them.

  • Scarlet Queen Red Stem Turnip - a CSA member told me that turnips were an “experimental” veggie and if that is the case with anyone else, I’ll give you a super easy recipe. Cut them down to bite size pieces or however you want to eat them, toss them in a baking sheet with olive oil and some spices, salt, pepper, rosemary, thyme, whatever you like, and simply bake them until they are tender, 20-30 minutes on 400 or so. Thats it.

  • two butterhead lettuce for all your salad needs. With all the rain, it would be next to impossible to get all the dirt out of every crevice without breaking the whole head down so you will probably have to clean it again.

  • Sweet onion

  • two Carmen peppers - it has been an exceptional pepper year and with no frost in sight, they are going strong.

  • a bag of spinach - I have had trouble growing spinach the past few season with a lack of irrigation - spinach seeds need a cooler temperature and consistent moisture to germinate well but this year, we are a little more set up. I am excited about the spinach, it is super tender, good raw or cooked. We ate some last night for dinner raw and it was delicious.

  • Brussel’s sprouts stalks - I kept them on the stalks for ease of transporting, length of freshness (they keep longer on the stalk), and quickness of harvest and washing. That said, it will be little more work on your end. A restaurant in Stowe recently told me that they would buy the entire crop of Brussel’s Sprouts on the stalk this year because they like the tenderness and versatility of the smaller size sprouts. I wanted to make sure you guys all got some too! You can roast them, sauté them, or even eat them raw on a salad although I cannot attest to this. There should be roughly s pound or so (maybe more) on the two stalks. Here are a couple recipes: https://www.chelseasmessyapron.com/best-parmesan-brussels-sprouts/ https://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/a22566331/best-sauteed-brussel-sprouts-recipe/

Here are some pics from the week:

Fall views from the second floor of the Wash Pack Shed.

Fall views from the second floor of the Wash Pack Shed.

I partnered with the  Center for an Agricultural Economy  this year to provide fresh, local food for institutions throughout the state. I was excited for the opportunity and this particular 400# haul of green cabbage will be shredded for schools and hospitals in Vermont.

I partnered with the Center for an Agricultural Economy this year to provide fresh, local food for institutions throughout the state. I was excited for the opportunity and this particular 400# haul of green cabbage will be shredded for schools and hospitals in Vermont.

Badass woman sharpening her tools.

Badass woman sharpening her tools.

Proud cabbage boy

Proud cabbage boy

Ryan Z. Demarest1 Comment