September 30- October 6, 2019
As this is the last distribution week for Elmwood Stock Farm Summer 2019 CSA shareholders I’d like to look back and reminisce on the many meals we shared with you. We always appreciate stories about how you wowed friends and family with various recipes or when the kids notice a difference and eat more when the organic farm foods are used in the meal. Isn’t it cool the very thing that makes your body work right tastes great? Over the last twenty-one weeks you have had access to some of the best foods in the world. At the farm, as we strive to refine the weekly availability/delivery mechanisms in place, we invite your feedback. After all, you are shareholders in partnership with your farm. (Look for an email this week on this.) For those of you signed up for fall, we know you will eat well, the rest of you please make smart food choices all winter and we will see you either at the farmers market, or next spring. Mark your calendar to sign up for next summer’s season during January – it will brighten up a cold winter day!
I, for one, have enjoyed more leafy green tossed salads this year than any other in my lifetime, maybe you did as well. We implemented a new growing technique to afford us this opportunity because members asked for it. And arugula has done much better than lettuce during these recent hot, dry days. Through knowledge we gain in conversations at the farm when we see you at pickup, and the information provided when you respond to the survey each year, we balance our infrastructure and make changes to try to meet your expectations. Your investment in the farm when you joined CSA this past winter or spring helps fund such changes; the very essence of what CSA is all about. Essentially you are investing in yourself by investing in your food, and can achieve better personal health, even stabilizing local food systems by doing so.
After two years of customizing each share, we seem to be settling in just fine to the new system. Most of you do, in fact, login each week, though we also know many long timer’s hold out for the weekly surprise of being happy with farmers choice. As I’ve mentioned before, the software for customizing your share was built by a CSA farm couple in West Virginia, so any tweaks and wrinkles get worked out in winter when they have more time for such things, but overall it works pretty well.
This week we are enduring record setting temperatures including the hottest day ever in October in the Bluegrass Tuesday (since they started keeping records in 1872), with Wednesday being the second hottest. It is generally accepted by farmers and gardeners alike that first frost around here will be in the first two weeks of October. But right now, our fall plantings of spinach and carrots are confused, and so are we. As if hot were not enough, Elmwood Stock Farm is parched, except for oases of vegetables irrigated with life-giving water. The pastures remain nutritious, standing hay if you will, though no longer green in color. They need moisture to flourish in the cool weather they desire that normally extends the grazing season well into winter. Having to feed hay earlier than normal can have consequences for next spring, so we hope for rain. There is a chance for rain early next week, but October is traditionally the driest month of the year.
Thanksgiving seems a long way off when we are in the midst of this heat spell, but our turkeys are sizing up nicely and each one needs a home for the holidays. As you make travel and meal plans, remember, this is THE one meal a year when people pay respect to the bounty and value of food, and it is your opportunity to bestow a wholesome organic turkey as the centerpiece of the gathering. Googling around and talking with others, I know there are a scant few organic turkeys available nationwide, and rarer still, organic heritage breed birds. There is considerable time, expense, and risk to rearing birds right on pasture, which is why we are one of the few. The attributes that a special turkey brings to your table are phenomenal, and well worth it. Luckily for you, we have them right here in your proverbial back yard, and you can reserve your turkey online on our website.
For some of you, this may be your 15th or 16th summer as an Elmwood Shareholder, charter members. You now know every season is different. You have not only witnessed the changes in your share each week, you have informed and influenced those changes. Sixteen years ago, we only had one high tunnel, now five. Our packing shed was open-sided to the east, exposed to the elements, now enclosed and heat-able. We packed shares in cutesy peach baskets, not easily transported in a pick-up truck, while today we neatly load shares in boxes and crates cooled during transport.
The support of our CSA members over the years has fostered our ability to grow more produce and include more shareholders in our CSA program. Much the same way we employ regenerative soil health systems, our regenerative relationship with you is building a steady supply of local organic foods. Thank you for the financial partnership, kinds words of encouragement, and for choosing to eat well. -Mac Stone
In Your Share
- Fresh Greens
- Squash, Butternut
- Squash, Spaghetti
- Surprise Item
Check out our Pinterest board for this week’s recipes! https://www.pinterest.com/elmwoodstockfar/recipes-2019-summer-csa/