Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Oh, Say, Can You CSA? Week 20

Well, here we are, at the end of this year's CSA season. And what a wonderful experience it has been!

Though the weather has been cooler lately and our farmers have had to worry more often about potential frosts, we still found an enormous bounty of beautiful produce waiting for us today, with some new additions:


The earlier crop of beets hadn't done well, but the Lady Bountiful persisted, and for this last week we were able to pick up a bunch of them. My Dear Papa and I were happy to split them: he loves the greens, and as I had planned to go home and roast the Chioggia beets still sitting in my refrigerator, I was more than happy to take these to add to the mix.


The other delightful surprise in this week's basket was the discovery of sweet potatoes, with their vivid skins ranging from deep orange to almost magenta. Just seeing this box of seconds made me hungry!


And though we didn't take this enormous sample home, we did get two very large sweet potatoes (totaling 3 pounds) to share between us. (This one almost looks like a musical instrument, and I'm sure it could feed an entire village. Wow!)

What we did take home was impressive enough:


--one winter squash (acorn; for the folks)
--one box of four small sweet onions (two for the folks, two for me)
--one dark and one light eggplant (dark for them, light for me)
--three sweet green peppers (all for the folks)
--one bunch celery (for the folks)
--one box poblano peppers (one for them, the rest for me)
--four bulbs garlic (two for them, two for me)
--three pounds Red Pontiac potatoes (split)
--one pint tomatillos (split)
--one quart red tomatoes (split)
--one pint yellow tomatoes (for me)
--one bunch leeks (for me)
--one bunch Swiss chard (for My Dear Papa)
--three pounds sweet potatoes (split)
--one bunch beets (split as noted above)
--one bunch cilantro (for me)
--one bag basil (for me)
--three gourds (for me)

I lingered to talk with Tara when she arrived and to arrange our upcoming outing, and then once everyone else had picked up their produce, I had a chance to talk with the Lady Bountiful and the Gentleman Farmer and to thank them for all their hard work over the year. They've really made a success of this CSA this year, and they hope to expand it next year, with additional pick-up days.

I also asked about extra produce and was able to purchase another pie pumpkin, two small butternut squash, two and a half pounds sweet potatoes (seconds of all sizes), and a small spaghetti squash (so don't worry, Tara, I still got one!). I'm sure I'll still be able to get more at the farmers' market, but I feel relieved to have more of those put away for winter now since they're so useful in the cold months.

Whatever will we do now, with no weekly newsletters to tell us of the happenings on the farm? Will we have to wait until next year to see the new pole barn that will house the CSA pickups? (Possibly!) What will we do without our weekly outing, and our weekly load of gorgeous and delicious produce? However shall we live?

I know, I'm getting a little dramatic here (a little???), but our CSA has become such a wonderful part of our routine this year and such a good way for My Wonderful Parents and me to spend time together that we'll just have to find something to fill the gap until next year's CSA begins.

So here's a big public thank you! to the Lady Bountiful, the Gentleman Farmer, and all their perpetually smiling and helpful children for all their hard work, good cheer, and generosity this year. A big thanks also goes to My Wonderful Parents for the transportation to our pickup -- and for sharing their memories and thoughts as we traveled down the road together.

And we'll just wait and CSA what happens next year!

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3 Comments:

At 10/17/2008 6:56 PM, Blogger Tara said...

I'm having serious sadness about the CSA coming to an end. Nutritionally, ethically, financially... the CSA was so good for our family. We have enough set aside from these impressive last shares and from what I preserved that I think we can make it well into November eating mostly CSA food. After that, ugh, I don't even want to think about it. One thing I know for sure is that I will spend some time this winter thrifting for more canning and preserving supplies, learning more (from great blogs like this), and planning our garden for next year so we can extend the goodness further.

 
At 10/19/2008 12:47 PM, Anonymous Janet said...

How sad to see the season end. I remain impressed at the quantity and variety of the goods you've gotten from your CSA. I'll bet you're already looking forward to next year!

 
At 10/20/2008 7:11 AM, Blogger The Baklava Queen said...

Tara and Janet, you are both so right -- it was a sad day! Still, it was a wonderful experience that helped me put away lots of food for winter and helped my folks do the same. We're hoping to do this again next year, but like you, Tara, I'm also going to use the experience to help me plan my gardening next year to parallel the CSA shares. I need to sit down with the seed catalog and do some careful thinking about succession planting in the space that I'll have.

But that's another post... :-)

 

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