09 Nov CSA Share: Week 24
Week 24, CSA harvest 47 and 48! At our end of the year dinner with our crew, we reflected back on the season, everyone sharing their best and worst memories. Almost all the worst memories had something to do with the endurance required to harvest in extremes, which this season seemed to have plenty of, whether it be picking cherry tomatoes in stifling hot rows, bereft of any breeze, or harvesting kale in the frosty morning, bone-chilling, temperatures. The fondest memories ranged from eating big juicy watermelon out in the field, mastering cultivation between beds, screenprinting farm t-shirts (taking orders soon!) and generally cooking and eating the harvest. Collectively, we remembered the late spring hail (the first we’ve ever seen at the farm), the summer drought, high temperatures and (minor) earthquake, over two feet of fall record-breaking rains, and an October nor’easter. What a year! As one CSA member said, “it’s time to stick a fork in this season and call it done.”
Or as Robert Frost wrote,
“For I have had too much
Of apple-picking: I am overtired
Of the great harvest I myself desired.”
In this week’s share you’ll find escarole. Don’t mix it up with your head lettuces. Escarole is a bitter green best used in cooking- a wonderful addition to a fall soup. Last Friday and this Tuesday’s share received a 1/2 pound bag of pea shoots, the result of a successful experiment. As soon as we saw that there would be losses in the field, we brainstormed things we could grow in the greenhouses. Pea shoots are grown in flats on tables. Somewhat labor intensive and using lots of soil mix (each flat only yields about 1.5 to 2 pounds), farms typically receive from $8 to $11 a pound from either farmer’s markets or restaurants for the tender little pea shoots. We are happy to be able to round out the last few CSA shares with this delicious addition. Check out this week’s recipe for some ideas for what to do with them.
Photos and text by Tricia Borneman, Blooming Glen farmer and co-owner.